tv Arts.21 - Meet the Artist - James Turrell Deutsche Welle January 21, 2019 1:30pm-2:01pm CET
a school. lecture off to one hundred gives the ideals of the fall house a more relevant today than they were a hundred years ago visionaries reshaped things to cotton balls against people it is a way of shaping society. with ideas about our future. our house world this week on g.w. . hello and welcome to arts twenty one. and the beginning and the end of everything there is light. and god said let there be light and there was light. light the crowning
achievement of creation represents consciousness. without light there is no vision without light there is no light without light there is no art. no life is something that is important first physically. or literal a truth of. the three or four large. but i'm in the light of a most readers. don't think of it that word. james to rail uses light to create art to rel is not a god but many consider him one of our greatest contemporary artists his works don't simply make use of light they are light itself.
these installations pay the viewer in light. you lose your orientation. outlines disappear. everything into. the three you're going to museum in body is now hosting. the largest ever seen in europe. seldom gives interviews but at the museum we talked to him at length. seventy five years old now he rarely travels to these kinds of exhibitions which are held all over the world. the conversation focused on the main theme of his work
the secrets of light. mist that are out when and how did you first realize that the world is all about flights i don't know that i can tell you anything about religion or or science but i do know that you know a lot of artists about like if you look at just the history of art in our you know our culture is littered with people who are depicting life in amazing ways and using it for the staging of the drama of of our living and what we do rather than depicted i wanted to use light itself. but that may be made for some sort of staging and certainly more insulation kinds of work as you said to your enough to depicting life the work is lights and could you explain the difference i like that quality of it which has to do with as the title of the show the substance of light the thing the savoy we're talking about. actually light being a thing of substance. and we have pieces here where you realize in order to
see the walls which you can see you're looking through something and the slight residing in the space is no different than say walking through the forest and you see a beam of light come down that illuminates the atmosphere the air and nuff that you see this beamed in in space i mean you're not just seeing it on the surface of the of the ground or things like have you actually are seeing this light it's actually inhabiting space. seems to real shows us how do you like from a different perspective light is to him what paint is to a painter it's raw material. that was some difficulty because you know with light you don't form of like clay with the hands you know curved away like.
you know wood or stone you actually have to build it almost like you do with music so you have to make instruments it does that. there are times in your apartment you can play well wagner is a good example. you play this music and suddenly the. space sure it is much larger. sound and hear light extends a space. that's what you're building your building with that kind of space making material.
james derails art can be both bewildering and moving is something you experience. at first glance this may seem like a projected image but it is in fact a space guns felt. viewers are gradually drawn into the space and they begin to wonder why am i. and where am i. let's take a look at the concert series for instance and there's no focus train yes no object or you're the other for interest i'm the object you. get it's interesting what's it what are we left with when there is no no focus won't do for oh no focus no object no thing and basically we're we're entering this new. landscape
which is the landscape with horizon and you see that when you get the white out while skiing you can see it. all flying when you enter the cloud and after gauging instrument flying. also when you dive there are times when you don't know where that you know which way is up it's just by watching your bubbles. and we are entering this new realm now and we're learning to navigate it so i'm very interested in this new landscape and how we feel within it and how the light helps to build that space but what do you think what are we doing to find out about
ourselves in that new space. well for us well just balance is interesting because we use horizon so much for balance. and even on a boat you know you get seasick if you go down below and you don't have a rising you come up with on deck and you look at horizon you can study the stomach more easily so that we have been for a long time using this idea of horizon if you're a pilot and you do aerobatics at first you can feel it is that deliberate and then this actually. charges here you actually want to experience that you want to feel that it actually as a good feeling and that's when you know that you're you're beginning to be able to navigate this this realm this new realm he said that i am the object in your work
and how do i see myself seeing how does that work well you are literally investigating your at your scene and it's not so much my seeing that i present to you and then you can go and. with that knowledge put it into your saying this is actually it's about you're seeing correctly as you experience it so you get the chance to discover it for yourself it's not a discovery of mine so much as that is becomes your discovery that's what i hope anyway. james to rail is also an experienced pilot and he made a key just covering one day while flying he became aware of the majestic scope and beauty of the sky. he's created sky scapes all over the world. these chambers provide viewers with a new visual perspective on the heavens the universe and eternity.
this is the museum in the n.d.s. mountains of argentina it was funded by the swiss entrepreneur and arts patron donald hess. the museum stands two thousand three hundred meters above sea level fully isolated from the rest of the world. in this place nature often stages its own light shows. when did you really fall in love with the sky as a pilot well certainly as opposed to because that. those who supports you and i mean it is this atmosphere that you are swimming in and of course it is life like water it is it has substance and it has changes as you see weather come or
light involved with that atmosphere and that's what fish are quite beautiful and people experience that coming over from the u.s. to europe as you wake up and you go into the the morning that you're headed in to her suppose you're up there with the best seat in the house. and but yours is good enough i mean after the site it really is amazing what happens as you approach the continent here and so i've always enjoyed that flight you say that you can even change the color of the sky and how do you do that i'm not changing the color of the sky but i'm changing your context a vision which give you a different color to sky to make it any color you like and some of the sky spaces but. that has more to do with you know how we form our perception we we the sky is blue because we have give it that color we awarded that color because we
do that means that and then we can change it so. that's not difficult to do. but i mean the and people are surprised by that because essentially we feel we receive everything that we're not a part of that we behold and we're definitely a part of that we behold so and that's one thing the artist can do is sort of give you the general cohen to tell you well you know you're making this reality within which you live. so it's nice to be aware of it. and it was from the air the james to rail discovered what would become his greatest artistic achievement. this is the road in a crater in arizona trail has built a kind of observatory inside the crater complete with underground shafts and tunnels he's been working on this project for four decades and is still not complete. experiments not only with light but also with sounds and
a few sticks. the spaces are sensitive to light and sound. it's almost. difficult to make. because once you make the sensor if you like. it's very bright side so you can pick your new car you can take. a visit to the crater is an experience that almost overwhelms the sense it's. the surface something where you were within the earth but above it and so this you know taking so into this in the sky is something very very interesting you know all the faces i make have access to the sky and to above and you know one of things we rarely do is if you are in new york and you watch people from just the second floor of hardly anybody looks up.
it's a mix so part of this is just for redirect your vision and also make you realize there's the whole world that's above us. and that we have access to it. today to real lives and works in flagstaff arizona a town with a population of about sixty five thousand. well hello. mama. it's gentle. flagstaff is cold in winter and hot in summer. james terrelle was born in los angeles california about six hundred kilometers west of here. oh. i get it i'm. doing fine. i think there must be something special about the life of california how did you perceive flied when you were a child. well children oriental light and you do that in the crib i mean here you
will look to it and it is something that really helps orient to this. and i mean california is not that different than say south of france or or italy or spain. the thing that is very interesting though is a lot of people who fish eight light are from areas where it's. it is not as prevalent and more precious and so you know you have costs or you have turner amazing very prescient artists just for david friedrich the tree lights fool all the painters of light from norway and sweden and. her very who are came to germany to study art in a way it's more appreciated words more precious. when james tarell
frames light as in a painting he's following a centuries old tradition of western art. from the broken periods in modern times artists have been captivated by the power of light. light can bring a scene to life increase its dramatic effect and focus the viewers' attention. in the seventeenth century the use of light transformed the world of art. for the first time artists used light to highlight their subjects and not just saints but mere mortals. and even the artists themselves. they created a world of sharp contrast between whites and dark. the
renaissance sought to bring light into darkness using science and reason to counter the influence of the church and religion. rembrandt's the anatomy lesson of dr nicholas told is the quintessential renaissance art work the participants are gathered around the corpse of a criminal and the body is bathed in light. in the eighteenth century the english painter william turner took the use of light to a new level in his work the slave ship the sky and sea the low. lights floods the canvas and blurs contrasts turner also made use of dissolves and fading effects which he copied from early photographs. in the twentieth century photography became the preferred medium for experimenting
with light. gifted photographers like mandrake made substantial contributions to this art form. one of today's most important artists care how to reach their highest found new ways to use light is still life skull with candle plays with our perceptions. the images are indistinct blurred shimmering nothing is as it seems. james to rail uses many of the same effects in his works images blend into one another playing tricks on the viewer's imagination. in college to real studied psychology mathematics and astronomy these disciplines are reflected in his work a sophisticated attempt to alter our sense of perception one might said you're even more than an artist you're a kind of loss of her spiritual guide maybe a scientist how do you see yourself as an artist i mean as i say this is not things
that inform science i'm informed by a fun and interesting point is that life is also used in para p. and one of your pieces is called healing light so is it kind of a healing experience or do you try to balance it in terms of the for going through the if you stay. in the exhibition so it has kind of all color but you know the interview system is this is keyed off of exposure to light and so people call that the shocker is you just call it jennifer insisting that's fine but it is something that is physically us and so we do orient to these things and do it healing from that i was wondering and to what extent at least experience is spiritual i mean life is also a universal symbol for the divine each and every human being yes and artists have been involved with religion since day one. making work that
supports the rhetoric that comes from the priesthood or or not. but you can see that all the altar pieces and everything here and in europe i mean it's quite amazing what artists did and how they were involved with the church and also problem for the church it seems that you were inspired by the many many taishan meditative quality of light because you know you do go inside to greet the light in meditation and that you will get that visual purple and you'll get the beginning of that as you enter meditation so we are followed by light we carry it within us so there never is no light even when you're inside. you know a deposition cell you'll find that there is light that just close your eyes you'll
enter a life filled realm of eventually this is i mean we do have this light inside and. and. you know this is a visual mantra. chuck rosen visual mantras james to rails works reflect his interest in eastern mysticism but they're by no means esoteric. his parents were devout quakers a form of christianity that believes there is good in everyone and that we all have a direct connection to god. sitting in silence seen quaker meeting to rail learned as a child to come to a place of peace in the quiet. he was raised to find the divine light in every person. who says the door to cemetery in central berlin philosopher georg hale and author
and playwright virgil brecht are among those buried here. a few years ago terrelle transformed the chapel here with an installation that took full advantage of the twilight hours. a room without shadows filled with changing colors. the altar is a cube of acrylic less. outfitted with l.e.d.s. that make it a central source of light. very much in line with the traditional christian concept of god as creator and the source of divine light. here
unlike into roles guns filled works the contours remain sharply defined so that viewers maintain proper orientation. the space in which one remembers the souls of the dead. christians are invited to reflect on their belief in eternal life. some may find comfort in the idea that life will not end in darkness but in light light is present at the beginning and at the end of life. at last i'd like to know if there's a life that you love and maybe a life that you hate. well. i mean i appreciate it all i don't have any that are. one of the things i like to do is to give. light like i've seen in the dream. this is basically a different light than we normally have there were normally involved with in the
conscious awake state and what does is light come from in the dream is that memory well. part of it could be memory yes that is replayed but then the truth is we are often involved in experiences that we find later. in what we call the conscious await the waking state or life. as in deja vu so. it's not all memory which is quite interesting in curious and. has the light come from a word does the light come from in the dream you weren't where does it come from. and it. is something we definitely experience. and it is powerful the dreams are most powerful when we have the dreams and color of course and often when they are this kind of dream it is not from memory but from. experiences that are to come the lucid dream is quite amazing
and most people have had one but that's not just having one it's having one that they remembered because we often wake up and from the moment of awakening the dream is leaving us and so we're trying to hold on to it but you know you can do that a bit with art by making light it's very similar to how we see light in the dream because it's not know how we normally see light. but were unknown to us. very. great thank you very much. gives us a key that unlocks the door to the subconscious mind is installations are like finding yourself in a vivid dream in which spatial boundaries are blurred. lights like music has the power to alter our perceptions of space. to the point where we perceive to
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